Mayor Lovely Warren is demanding answers about a recent shakeup at the Rochester Housing Authority.
Last week, RHA board members ousted executive director Alex Castro and picked City Council member Adam McFadden to take his place. At the time, the reasons for Castro’s termination weren’t clear. Today, in a terse letter to board chair George Moses, Warren says she was promised an explanation.
“To date I have not received the explanation which I requested,” Warren’s letter said. “I am now asking you to immediately explain why Mr. Castro was removed, otherwise I will have no choice but to get more involved.”
Later in the letter, she wrote that if she doesn’t receive the answers today, she will call for the board members’ resignations. Warren recently appointed several members to the authority, including Moses.
And Warren wrote that while she understands that an interim replacement for Castro was needed, she expects the RHA board to conduct a formal search for the most qualified candidate.
This morning, McFadden said he wasn’t aware of the mayor’s letter.
The board’s decision to hire McFadden has come under scrutiny. City Council member Jackie Ortiz has asked the city’s Board of Ethics and its Office of Public Integrity to review the appointment, and to investigate Castro’s dismissal. And former RHA board chair Carol Schwartz has said that McFadden, as a sitting member of City Council, is barred from the position by the terms of the authority’s annual contract with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. A HUD spokesperson says the agency is reviewing the matter.
RHA board members are holding a press conference this morning to discuss McFadden’s appointment.
Mayor Warren Letter to RHA